Asian stocks held most of the week's gains before monthly U.S. jobs data on Friday, although property and bank shares fell in many markets as soft U.S. data raised concerns about the pace of economic recovery.
In Europe, spreadbetters expected Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE>, Germany's DAX <.GDAXI> and France's CAC-40 <.FCHI> to open lower, while U.S. stock futures edged higher.
Gold slid from a record on profit-taking and crude futures fell for a third day after disappointing U.S. service sector numbers, and as investor caution reigned ahead of the November payrolls report seen as a health check of the economy.
Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 130,000 U.S. jobs were lost in November compared with a loss of 190,000 jobs in October. The unemployment rate is seen at 10.2 percent, unchanged from the prior month. The data release is due at 1330 GMT.
Shares in Asia have rebounded this week after steep losses the week before when worries about Dubai's debt problems sent some to their lowest closes in months.
In Japan on Friday, the Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.45 percent, topping 10,000 for the first time in five weeks. The benchmark index has gained 10.4 percent this week, its biggest weekly gain for a year, on short covering by foreign investors and after the central bank took additional steps to support the economy.
For further gains, investors need to see more clarity about Japan's economic policies, along with U.S. jobs data that could still surprise the market, said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.
Shares also rose in South Korea as positive economic data and gains in shipyards and technology issues lent support.
The economy grew faster than initially predicted in the third quarter, helping push up the Korea Composite Stock Price Index <.KS11> (KOSPI) 0.6 percent on the day and 6.6 percent on the week, its best weekly performance since March.
But the MSCI index of Asia excluding Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 0.6 percent on Friday, although it is has still doubled since hitting the year's lows in March.
Analysts said the November payrolls data would dictate the tone for riskier assets in the coming week.
The employment stakes were trending the right way for the U.S., but there are concerns that as unemployment mounts, sales will be affected going into this all-important holiday season, said St George Bank market analyst Simon Mariner in Australia.
Australian stocks fell 1.5 percent <.AXJO>, with top miners BHP Billiton
Hong Kong stocks trimmed losses to a fall of 0.3 percent <.HSI>, on course to end four straight days of gains. Shares of Henderson Land <0012.HK> fell 2.6 percent after jumping more than 6 percent in the previous session.
The Shanghai Composite Index <.SSEC> rose 1.4 percent, on course for a weekly gain of 7 percent, which would also be its best showing since March.
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday after the unexpected contraction in the vast services sector spurred worries about the recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> shed 0.8 percent, along with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX>, while the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 0.5 percent. <.N>
The dollar was largely steady at 88.25 yen, after rebounding this week from a recent 14-year trough.
The euro was unchanged at $1.5074, holding near a recent 16-month high after the European Central Bank suggested it would gradually withdraw emergency liquidity from the system.
Japanese government bonds slipped as the yen took a breather from its recent surge that stoked concerns of added deflationary pressure and prompted the Bank of Japan to step up its monetary easing.
Little impact was seen from the ruling parties' efforts to finalize an economic stimulus package, with Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii saying the government will stick to its principle of not raising bond issuance to fund stimulus.
(Editing by Kim Coghill)